“Racing against Daniel is something I always enjoy. It’s really good to have to someone to race and challenge you
More than 580 para-swimmers from nearly 70 countries have arrived in Glasgow, Great Britain, for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships, which get underway on Monday (13 July).
The event, featuring seven days of nail-biting action, is the biggest gathering of swimmers in Great Britain since the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
All heats and finals will be shown live at Glasgow2015.com.
The first day of competition will feature a potential four gold medals for the hosts, including Glasgow-born European champion Andrew Mullen.
The 18 year-old impressed with his first international titles at the Euros in 2014, and in 2015 has moved to second in the world rankings behind world and Paralympic champion Daniel Dias in the men’s 50m backstroke S5.
Mullen said: “Racing against Daniel is something I always enjoy. It’s really good to have to someone to race and challenge you. Tough racing really motivates me and I know getting on to those blocks I just want to give my all in that race.
“Going into Worlds I want to get PBs [person bests] and do my home crowd proud.”
Another exciting race is expected in the women’s 400m freestyle S6 on Monday.
British superstar Eleanor Simmonds has held the world and Paralympic title since 2008, but Ukrainian 22-year-old Yelyzaveta Mereshko is the current world No.1.
Simmonds said: “The World Championships in Glasgow are going to be great. I hope as many people as possible come and support us there. The home crowd is so important and I know they make us all swim faster.
“For the racing it’s going to be really good to see where we are all at ahead of Rio next year. I have some strong competitors in my events. I love racing and I have worked really hard in training leading up to this event."
Other potential medals for Great Britain on day one include Scott Quin in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB14 and James Crisp in the men’s 100m backstroke S9.
Away from the hosts, Ukrainian Dmytro Vynohradets, the most decorated athlete from the Montreal 2013 Worlds, is back in the men’s 200m freestyle S3 to begin his campaign to retain his seven world titles.
Glasgow 2015 also features the return of the USA’s Bradley Snyder to the international stage. At London 2012 he swam to a poignant victory in the men’s 400m freestyle S11 on the one year anniversary of losing his eyesight in Afghanistan. Glasgow 2015 will be the US Navy veteran’s first World Championships after a break in 2013.
After breaking the world record two years ago and then again at the 2014 Euros, the Netherlands’ Paralympic champion Marc Evers is the favourite in the men’s 100m backstroke S14. In other events, Japanese world champion Yasuhiro Tanaka is the world record holder in the 100m breaststroke SB14, having lowered the mark at London 2012 on his way to winning gold.
Brazilian Phelipe Rodrigues is a challenger to 12-time gold medallist teammate Andre Brasil in the men’s S10 events, particularly the 50m and 100m freestyle where he leads the world rankings.
In the women’s S10 New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe will face a threat to her five world titles from Canadian youngster Aurelie Rivard. Nineteen-year-old Rivard has been improving ever since winning her first World Championships podiums with three silver and two bronze medals at Montreal 2013. However Pascoe has already set a world record in the 100m freestyle this season.
The USA’s Jessica Long is looking to win her 20th world title in the women’s 100m butterfly S8. But Ukrainian Kateryna Istomina has been fast so far this season and will be looking to unsettle Long with an improvement on her two bronze medals from 2013.
Glasgow 2015 will feature World Championships debuts for swimmers from Gambia, Barbados, Mongolia, Nepal, and Malta, as the competition will act as a major qualification opportunity for Rio 2016.
Tickets for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships are still available from as little as GBP 10/15 for heats/finals. Children under 16 go free (terms and conditions apply).
Live updates will be posted to Facebook, @IPCSwimming and Paralympics Instagram.
Broadcast footage will be available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rights free pictures will be available at Flickr.